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IF I had it to do over, I would not enter into ESL teaching.
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sammysez



Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: IF I had it to do over, I would not enter into ESL teaching. Reply with quote

Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but if I had it to do over, I would not become an ESL teacher. Basically I'm eating my degree, because it's really not paying the bills like I thought.

If you have the travel bug to go overseas, which I never had, then it's probably worth it.

It's definitely lost it's profitability since the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Salaries seem to be going down. Perhaps China or Japan will be the saving of salaries for ESL teachers.

Any one else?? your thoughts?
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1560
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not Japan. The best days are gone.
China, though, I would recommend.
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 508
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the opposite experience. I got degrees in English with the expectation that I would never be marketable, yet I've managed to have a fun and very profitable career these last 13 years.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 886

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the issue is that it is either good for a gap year (or two) then return home and start a career
OR
try it for a year or two then begin your professional development and move off the entry level EFL jobs and get into EFL / teaching options with upward mobility, career advancement and decent wages.

The issue is that most EFL teachers get lazy. They get into EFL and never move past the entry level jobs because the job is easy, pretty stress free and doesn't require any continuing professional development.

For those who do move upward there are decent paying, related options:
    professional teacher (salaries of US$3-5k/month)
    Curriculum development and publication (sky is the limit)
    School administration ($5k+/month)
    Upper academia and/or conference work (50k/year +)
    Related self employment - school / academy owner (in some countries this is not an option).


While teaching has never been a profession to get rich in it certainly, outside of the US, has options that provide a decent level of disposable income, job security and retirement options.
It sucks to be a teacher in the US.

.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
I think the issue is that it is either good for a gap year (or two) then return home and start a career
OR
try it for a year or two then begin your professional development and move off the entry level EFL jobs and get into EFL / teaching options with upward mobility, career advancement and decent wages.

The issue is that most EFL teachers get lazy. They get into EFL and never move past the entry level jobs because the job is easy, pretty stress free and doesn't require any continuing professional development.

For those who do move upward there are decent paying, related options:
    professional teacher (salaries of US$3-5k/month)
    Curriculum development and publication (sky is the limit)
    School administration ($5k+/month)
    Upper academia and/or conference work (50k/year +)
    Related self employment - school / academy owner (in some countries this is not an option).


While teaching has never been a profession to get rich in it certainly, outside of the US, has options that provide a decent level of disposable income, job security and retirement options.


Great advice again from Suphanburi. This should be made into a sticky.
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rahcnas



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: IF I had it to do over, I would not enter into ESL teach Reply with quote

sammysez wrote:
Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but if I had it to do over, I would not become an ESL teacher. Basically I'm eating my degree, because it's really not paying the bills like I thought.

If you have the travel bug to go overseas, which I never had, then it's probably worth it.

It's definitely lost it's profitability since the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Salaries seem to be going down. Perhaps China or Japan will be the saving of salaries for ESL teachers.

Any one else?? your thoughts?


I am curious. What would you do instead? Salaries are going down if you compare them to previous years but you have to ask if this is only happening in this industry. I am fairly new to the industry (only teaching ESL English for 2 1/2 years) after spending many years in administrative positions and have realized that the employment arena of the last twenty years or so is changing if not has changed. With the rapid growth in technology some types of careers are already on their way out: e.g. Postal Service workers, Switchboard Operators, Data Entry and Word Processors and Typists. More careers will become obsolete within the next 10 years and new careers are emerging that were not around 5 years ago. As the supply of persons willing to teach ESL English increases, salaries will decrease.

Suphanburi listed decent paying options and mentioned that these provide job security and retirement options outside the U.S. Personally I think "job security " will become a thing of the past as more technology is used in the workplace as well as the availability of increased numbers of people looking for work. We have to deal with "what is" and do what most human beings hate "make changes".
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Yanklonigan



Joined: 23 Jan 2017
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I would not bother with teaching overseas if I could do it over again. Three tours of duty spread-out over six years was too long. Overall, the experience detoured me from my real career track. It set me back as far as retirement goes. It was fun, but it was a waste of time in the end.
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jpvanderwerf2001



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1117
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic could be about any profession. I have friends who are doctors, mechanics, and financiers who would have gone into different professions had they to do it again.
Anyway, as Suphanburi wisely noted, one has to treat EFL/ESL as a career if they would like to "get ahead." This is of course true for any career journey: If one doesn't get the professional development, skills, qualifications, and contacts needed to advance, they are typically going to be stuck where they are.
I have a difficult time empathizing with someone who, for instance, has an unrelated BA -- or perhaps no BA -- and an online cert, teaches, then goes home at the end of the day to sit on the computer to complain about finding success in this field. One must have some drive and creativity.
One can start a distance masters or DELTA; found a local EFL professionals group; pick the brains of others who have made it a viable career; attend local, regional, or national professional development conferences; start an English language speaking club or even a school...the possibilities are many.
Today, there are more resources than ever for building skills, qualifications, and contacts for a realistic EFL/ESL career.
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Kalkstein



Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and no. Getting into this career solely for the money is not a good idea because there are a myriad of much better paid jobs in fact as far as I'm aware teaching English is near the bottom because of the low entry requirements. However many people are not doing it just for the money. Also China's getting more competitive and the money is becoming less impressive so I don't think that's going to be the saving grace. There's a lot of undercutting here.

rahcnas wrote:
sammysez wrote:
Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but if I had it to do over, I would not become an ESL teacher. Basically I'm eating my degree, because it's really not paying the bills like I thought.

If you have the travel bug to go overseas, which I never had, then it's probably worth it.

It's definitely lost it's profitability since the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Salaries seem to be going down. Perhaps China or Japan will be the saving of salaries for ESL teachers.

Any one else?? your thoughts?


I am curious. What would you do instead? Salaries are going down if you compare them to previous years but you have to ask if this is only happening in this industry. I am fairly new to the industry (only teaching ESL English for 2 1/2 years) after spending many years in administrative positions and have realized that the employment arena of the last twenty years or so is changing if not has changed. With the rapid growth in technology some types of careers are already on their way out: e.g. Postal Service workers, Switchboard Operators, Data Entry and Word Processors and Typists. More careers will become obsolete within the next 10 years and new careers are emerging that were not around 5 years ago. As the supply of persons willing to teach ESL English increases, salaries will decrease.

Suphanburi listed decent paying options and mentioned that these provide job security and retirement options outside the U.S. Personally I think "job security " will become a thing of the past as more technology is used in the workplace as well as the availability of increased numbers of people looking for work. We have to deal with "what is" and do what most human beings hate "make changes".


Salaries are going up in a lot of other industries in China, they're fairly stale for foreign English teachers. I suppose to answer your question anything STEM related is by far the best choice. Even teaching a STEM subject is more advantageous.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15315

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it posted the same guff 3 times !

Last edited by scot47 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15315

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is this? I am seeing triple - and I have not touched the demon drink since 1990 !

Last edited by scot47 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15315

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It helped me to get by
It took me to some strange places
Through my travels I met some people, including 2 wives and a mistress
On my travels I had 4 children. Three of them are still living. i have grandchildren as a result and so far one great-grandson.

My life would have been different if I had stayed in small-town Scotland

i will be heading to see The Great Spirit soon.

Life has been okay

So it goes.
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billbob



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is far and away the most profound thing I've ever read on Dave's Cafe!

scot47 wrote:
It helped me to get by
It took me to some strange places
Through my travels I met some people, including 2 wives and a mistress
On my travels I had 4 children. Three of them are still living. i have grandchildren as a result and so far one great-grandson.

My life would have been different if I had stayed in small-town Scotland

i will be heading to see The Great Spirit soon.

Life has been okay

So it goes.
[[/i]
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 738

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

A story (longish) if I might . . .
A long time ago a gent got a degree in Computer Science. . . .


Now who could that be? Very Happy
Fascinating and instructive to read the entire arc (so far!) of a successful career.

.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1438
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:47 am    Post subject: Re: IF I had it to do over, I would not enter into ESL teach Reply with quote

sammysez wrote:

If you have the travel bug to go overseas, which I never had, then it's probably worth it.



What a bizzare course of action. Did you not have career advisors were you got this degree?
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